Tag:Eric Bledsoe
Posted on: January 15, 2012 6:59 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2012 6:12 am
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Paul (hamstring) day to day, MRI results negative

Posted by Eye on Basketball staff

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is listed as day to day with a hamstring injury after an MRI Sunday revealed no major results. Officially the injury is being called a strained hamstring.

Paul suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Saturday's 102-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

The injury comes at a particularly inopportune time, with the Clippers embarking on a back-to-back-to-back with games Monday afternoon at New Jersey, Tuesday night at Utah before returning home Wednesday against the Mavericks.

The Clipppers started the season with four point guards: Paul, Chauncey Billups, Mo Williams and Eric Bledsoe. They may be down to only Billups by next week. Williams (foot) sat out Saturday's game and Bledsoe (knee) is still 2-3 weeks away from returning.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 9:28 pm
 

NBA, Hornets resurrect Paul talks with Clippers

Posted by Ben Golliver

chris-paul-hornets-clippers

The ceaseless on-again, off-again trade talks involving New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul are reportedly back on. Monday night, round two with the Los Angeles Clippers commenced.

ESPN.com reported that talks between the league-owned Hornets and Clippers have officially resurrected after being declared dead earlier on Monday.
After a seemingly imminent trade routing Paul to the Clippers collapsed earlier Monday, sources told ESPN.com that the league officials negotiating on the Hornets' behalf had aggressively re-engaged the Clippers in talks in hopes of completing a deal as soon as Tuesday.

The talks hit an impasse earlier Monday when the Clippers decided that the league's asking price for the All-Star guard was too high. But Clippers general manager Neil Olshey said Monday that the trade could be revived if some of the parameters change. And a source close to the process told ESPN that league officials also do not see talks with the Clippers as "over."

The league-owned Hornets and the Clippers could not complete their proposed Chris Paul trade because the Clippers decided the asking price was too high. The NBA remains "hopeful," according to the source, that Paul's fate can resolved "soon."
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that a source said: "The league has no choice. They have nowhere else to go."

Earlier trade talks had the Clippers sending center Chris Kaman, point guard Eric Bledsoe, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and the Minnesota Timberwolves' 2012 first round pick pick to the Hornets for Paul. Other reported versions of the trade talks also included guard Eric Gordon. The talks reportedly fell apart when the Clippers felt NBA commissioner David Stern, who possesses final authority on personnel moves for the Hornets, was asking too high a price for Paul.

Some variation of the reported package would give the paper-thin Hornets multiple players to plug in as starters plus an excellent building block chip in the 2012 pick. The Clippers are looking to find a premier perimeter player to pair with forward sensation Blake Griffin, recently re-signed center DeAndre Jordan and, ideally, retain Gordon, who is a potential future All-Star at shooting guard. 

The Clippers also claimed veteran point guard Chauncey Billups in an amnesty bidding pool on Monday.
Posted on: December 11, 2011 7:50 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2011 7:55 pm
 

Clippers on Chris Paul's list?

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Paul might be going to Los Angeles after all. Might even be playing in Staples Center.

No, not with the Lakers, but with their roommate, the Los Angeles Clippers. According to ESPN.com, the Clips are on a short list of teams Paul would approve of being traded to Los Angeles to team up with Blake Griffin. But that's only if the Lakers or Knicks can't swing a deal for him. Which at this point, appears unlikely.

The Lakers had a three-way deal worked out to bring Paul to Los Angeles before David Stern and the NBA vetoed it for so-called "basketball reasons." Talks re-engaged, but felt apart again Saturday night when the Hornets reportedly asked for too much. A piece in the trade, Lamar Odom, was then sent to Dallas for a trade exception, essentially busting any chance a deal would go through.

The Clippers understand though that it's a risk to trade for Paul as any team that acquires him runs the risk of him not signing an extension. He likely wouldn't sign one as under the new collective bargaining agreement rules, it's better for a player to wait until his deal runs out and sign a contract in free agency.

Interesting twist to that in this case though: The Clippers aren't asking for Paul to sign an extension yet. All they want is for him to pick up the player option on his contract for 2012-13. That would postpone his free agency one more year. And if CP3 is willing to do that, the Clippers would evidently be open to deal their top two most highly prized assets in Eric Gordon and Minnesota's unprotected 2012 No. 1 pick.

That's very important stuff.

The only way anyone can really see the Clippers landing Paul would be to part with Gordon and the Wolves unprotected pick. And if the Clips were willing to part with those, it's a very real possibility that CP3 could be headed to Clipperland sometime this week.

According to the report, the Hornets have already asked the Clippers for Gordon, Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu and at least two future first-round picks for CP3. That's a whole lot of cheese right there. Probably a little too steep for the Clippers, in fact.

But that's more the deal the league evidently is interested in after vetoing the original deal. The original three-way trade with Houston that brought Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic and Kevin Martin to New Orleans allowed the Hornets to stay competitive. This new scenario allows them to get younger and rebuild, which apparently is the league's desire.

The Clippers deal is better in my mind, but it's a matter of if the Clips are willing to pay that kind of price just to get Paul for maybe two seasons. Teaming him with Blake Griffin is of course a very exciting prospect, but Gordon is a top 10 scorer with a ton of upside still, Minnesota's pick is maybe the most valuable asset in the league (it could very well turn into Anthony Davis), and Eric Bledsoe is a promising young point guard. That's a whole lot to pay, even for a player of CP3's caliber.

If the Hornets were able to swing this deal, I would give it up to Stern and the league, because it's undeniably better. But it's a big if at this point. Mainly because we're talking about the Clippers here and the fact that Chris Paul would have to buy into them long-term. Seems pretty iffy still to me.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:11 pm
 

Calipari and the new NBA nexus



By Matt Moore


Let's get right to the point. In the list of people who influence the NBA, John Calipari isn't at the top. But the empire he's built and transferred to Kentucky to expand may be the center of the NBA universe outside of New York and Miami. And if you want proof, you only need to look at what's going on in Lexington this summer.

We start with the expected, another stellar team from Calipari. But this one, it's a little bit more than even the normal outstanding classes of prospects Calipari produces each year. In addition to Terrence Jones, who would have been a first-rounder this year had he elected to jump, the 2011-2012 Kentucky Wildcats feature three players CBSSports.com placed in the top ten of a 2012 mock draft, and four in the first round. Anthony Davis is considered by many to be the number one overall pick next year, Michael Gilchrist is talked about as being potentially just as good. Marquis Teague is plotted as a mid-first rounder (which means he could very easily wind up in the lottery). Only Doron Lamb, who Calipari has called the best player on this year's Kentucky team, isn't expected to go in the first round.

It won't happen, but we should note that it's possible that the entire starting five of UK this fall could go in the first round, and that four of the five could go in the lottery. That's absurd. For a coach known to pull in talent, the addition of Jones for his sophomore year has made this year's squad of prospects out of this world. Essentially, every Kentucky game needs to be a must-watch for NBA draftniks.

But that's not all. As the lockout drags on, some familiar faces are showing up in and around Lexington. Calipari offered early on to let locked out former members of the Wildcats use the facilities. In addition, several former Wildcats have decided to finish their degrees at UK should the lockout cost the whole year. Now, no one thinks this is about the family approach or goodwill and interest in supporting former members that Cal and the Blue Nation would say it is. And that's right in line with Calipari's approach. He's brazenly manipulative of NBA ties while all the while putting the most friendly of faces forward. It's made him the scourge of many college basketball pundits, while NBA guys? We tend to nod appreciatively. Calipari filters good talent into national television appearances, raises their draft profile, and then sends them on their merry way to where they belong: the NBA, making money to play the game they're at the elite level of already. The transparent slime may put some off, but the fact remains: Calipari has become a first-round gold mine.

Tyreke Evans, ROY. John Wall would have been ROY if Blake Griffin hadn't entered the fray as an actual sophomore. DeMarcus Cousins could have been a candidate if he'd kept his head on his shoulders. And all of that is before you factor the MVP Derrick Rose and his time with Calipari in Memphis. And with all those players hanging around campus, word will continue to get around to future prospects. It's not just cool to go to Kentucky. It's part of the NBA factory.

LeBron James is a "close personal friend" of Calipari. And while the rest of the universe may hate James, kids are still flocking to him as an idol, evidenced by both Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson's realtionship with him. Jay-Z? Visiting the locker room. The link here in all of this is, of course, Worldwide Wes, William Wesley, who is also, surprise! Calipari's agent representative with CAA. It's a whole little machine that makes collegiate moralists squirm, even as Calipari has done more to produce revenue for young players than any coach in the country. If it's all about him, so what? The effect is the same.

UCLA hosts the most famous and well known private pickup games. But with Cousins, Bledsoe, and Wall on campus along with Rondo and whoever else conceivably shows up, Lexington is going to be a virtual nexus of NBA workouts. It'll make the machine stronger, even as a class that some consider to have a higher total ranking than the Fab Five makes its way to play in the SEC.

Calipari is coaching the Dominican national team against a collection of former Wildcats. Cal has used every edge in keeping the factory rolling. William Wesley's close associate, LeBron James, and his brand will be sponsoring gear for UK this year. All-Stars are hanging out on campus and could be hired as special assistant coaches.

The reality is that with New York a tar pit where both the players and owners are stuck drowning in their own stubbornness, and Miami evacuated as the Triad go about their globe trotting ways, there's a new center of the NBA universe. Maybe Calipari isn't emperor of this kingdom, and he's just the friendly father figure he makes himself out to be. It doesn't change the fact that the future of the NBA flows through Lexington, and it's Calipari tending the waters.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:08 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 9:21 pm
 

Calipari: 3 NBA players to take classes at UK

Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-calipari

The University of Kentucky's basketball program is practically a professional program already, spitting out lottery picks in large quantities year after year.

But some of those lottery picks are coming back home and their presence could take the school's basketball program up another notch.

Kentucky coach John Calipari tweeted on Thursday night that three NBA point guards who played for Kentucky will head back to Lexington if the lockout continues. "John Wall, Rajon Rondo & Eric Bledsoe all plan to enroll in the fall if the lockout continues," Calipari tweeted. "Kaboom!"

Kaboom, indeed.

KentuckySportsRadio.com reported that the move could allow the trio -- point guards for the Washington Wizards, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers, respectively -- to get some court time in with the current Wildcats. "Calipari announces that John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and Rajon Rondo will all enroll at UK in the fall if lockout proceeds," the site reported. "What does that mean? Well, Wall, Bledsoe and Rondo are all eligible to be "Student Assistant coaches", which means practice with the team... Wall, Rondo and Bledsoe would have to be full-time students to be Student Assistants, but rumor is that is the plan."

A Lex18.com report quotes free agent forward Tayshaun Prince saying other NBA players could be following suit.
"Whether it's mid to late August or early September, I think some guys will start to roll in," he said.

Prince said he plans to spend more time in Lexington later in the summer and in to the fall and winter, if the NBA remains locked out. Brandon Knight - Prince's teammate in Detroit who was at the camp Thursday - said he plans to return to Lexington in late August or September. The two don't figure to be the only pros around campus.

"I think you're going to see over the next few months here that guys are going to start rolling in, doing workouts and things like that just because the relationship [Calipari's] putting out there with guys that he didn't coach but at the same time is building relationships," Prince said.
There are a lot of winners in this unique situation.

First, any NBA player who goes back to complete work on his degree is automatically a winner. Kudos to Wall, Rondo and Bledsoe for considering that step even after each has banked millions of dollars. That these three have chosen to do that while finding a home to work on their game and stay fit is a no-brainer, win-win.

Calipari, of course, is a winner, as the presence of an All-Star point guard, a Rookie of the Year candidate and a promising future starter on campus and in the gym only raises his already insanely-high profile as a mover and shaker in the basketball world and provides his current roster, which sports four potential first round picks in the 2012 NBA draft, with elite leadership and competition. Kentucky freshman point guard Marquis Teague, in particular, wins here too with three new mentors. Who better to answer his freshman questions than Wall, Rondo and Bledsoe?

The losers here are anyone that still believes in the purity of amateurism as well as any coaches that have to compete with Calipari for NBA-ready recruits. His factory just gets more and more refined by the season. Love him or hate him, his innovations and ability to find a competitive advantage are remarkable.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 2:22 pm
 

The complexity of the egg on the Clippers' face

The Clippers' pick won the lottery, but won't be going to L.A.. Could the Clippers have avoided surrendering the No.1 overall pick to Cleveland?

Posted by Matt Moore


So the Clippers' would have had the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, giving them a devastating combo of Blake Griffin and Kyrie Irving going forward, had they not traded it to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and to get out from Baron Davis' contract (in exchange for Mo Williams' contract). Except they wouldn't have, because that trade altered the Clippers season and landed them in the spot that gave Cleveland the No.1 overall. There was no way for the Clippers to know that they would have landed the top spot had they held on to the pick. But they did know it was possible, knowing they were lottery bound. So why didn't they top-three protect the pick, as is done so often in the NBA? 

Clippers' GM Neil Olshey told NBA.com:

“Protecting the pick was never an option,” L.A. general manager Neil Olshey told NBA.com. “There is no way to Monday morning quarterback this since our draft position wouldn’t have been the same had we not made the deal as I’m sure we would not have finished 11-11 post-trade without Mo Williams.“

Additionally, we had a 97-percent chance of sitting here tonight with Baron Davis taking up 25 percent of our cap, the eighth pick in a weak draft and no cap flexibility. Adding Mo Williams and $8.5 million in cap room gave us a better opportunity to become a playoff team next year than adding a seventh player under 23 with no NBA experience.”
via No Regrets For Clippers « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog.

When the lottery balls came up Cleveland last night, Olshey must have had a Charlie-Brown moment. "Good grief." It's true that the Clippers had no way of knowing they'd wind up in the top spot, and it's nearly certain that had L.A. not made the trade, they wouldn't have winded up in the lottery spot that gave Cleveland the pick. But at the same time, Cleveland's 2012 pick goes to the Celtics. The Clippers' best bet is to build around Blake Griffin with young talent. Mo Williams and Chris Kaman do not constitute as such. Even with Eric Bledose a promising young point guard, the Clippers need as much talent as they can get. Top 3 protecting that pick would have gotten them the best of both worlds, the cap relief they so desired, and that pick. Protecting the pick is something that happens in trades nearly every time, specifically to prevent this situation. Olshey's right that the Clippers received more in value than they gave up in the trade... at the time of the trade. But that won't help the continuing perception, despite Blake Griffin's brilliance, that the Clippers are still the Clippers, prone to do Clipper things.  
Posted on: May 11, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: May 11, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Griffin, Wall top NBA All-Rookie team

Blake Griffin and John Wall headline the 2010-2011 NBA All-Rookie team. Posted by Ben Golliver.

wall-griffin

The NBA announced its 2010-2011 NBA All-Rookie teams on Wednesday with 2009 No. 1 pick Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and 2010 No. 1 pick John Wall of the Washington Wizards leading the way.
Griffin, who was selected first overall in the 2009 NBA Draft but missed the entire 2009-10 season due to injury (stress fracture, left knee), recorded a rookie-and team-leading 22.5 ppg (12th overall), 12.1 rpg (fourth overall) and 63 double-doubles (third overall). Griffin became the first rookie to average at least 20 points and 10 rebounds since Elton Brand (20.1 ppg, 10.0 rpg) in 1999-2000. A six-time T-Mobile Western Conference Rookie of the Month selection, Griffin became the first rookie to appear in an NBA All-Star Game since Yao Ming in 2003. 

Wall, a four-time T-Mobile Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month selection, ranked seventh overall in assists (8.3 apg) and steals (1.75 spg), and finished second among rookies in scoring (16.4 ppg).
The duo was joined on the first team by New York Knicks forward Landry Fields, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins and San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal. The second team included Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe, Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wesley Johnson and Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe.

Here's a look at both the first and second team rosters and how the voting broke down. 

2010-11 NBA ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM

Blake Griffin   L.A. Clippers   58        
John Wall       Washington    57
Landry Fields   New York       56
DeMarcus Cousins  Sacramento 54
Gary Neal       San Antonio  44      

2010-11 NBA ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM

Greg Monroe     Detroit  42
Wesley Johnson  Minnesota 26
Eric Bledsoe    L.A. Clippers  19
Derrick Favors  Utah  18
Paul George     Indiana 12

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first place votes in parentheses): Ed Davis, Toronto, 10 (1); Evan Turner, Philadelphia, 12; Jordan Crawford, Washington, 12; Gordon Hayward, Utah, 7; Omer Asik, Chicago, 6 (1); Patrick Patterson, Houston, 5; Al-Farouq Aminu, Los Angeles Clippers, 3; Tiago Splitter, San Antonio, 3; Trevor Booker, Washington, 1; Christian Eyenga, Cleveland, 1; Ekpe Udoh, Golden State, 1.

A few notes:
  • Gary Neal was the only undrafted player to make either the first or second team.
  • Landry Fields was the only second round pick to make either the first or second team.
  • Evan Turner was the only top-5 pick not to make either the first or second team.
  • The highest ranked pick to not receive a single vote was Oklahoma City Thunder big man Cole Aldrich, who was taken No. 11 overall. 
  • Three other top 16 picks -- Xavier Hendry, Larry Sanders and Luke Babbitt, also did not receive a single vote.
  • Three members of the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats -- Wall, Cousins and Bledsoe -- found there way onto the first and second team.
  • The entire first team plus Monroe, Johnson, Bledsoe and Favors competed in the Rookie Challenge at 2011 All-Star Weekend.
  • Of the second team guys, Monroe has the best argument for inclusion on the first team. He started more than half of Detroit's games and was the lone bright spot on a pretty horrific season, posting averages of 9.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. Still, Cousins posted bigger numbers -- 14.1 points and 8.7 rebounds -- and has the name recognition thing going for him.
Posted on: February 18, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 2:53 am
 

For a weekend, the Kentucky trio reunites

Posted by Royce Young



LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't a coincidence that DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Eric Bledsoe all sat within arm's length of each other during media availability following their Rookie Challenge practice. The three have been separated for a few months, but if just for a weekend, it's like the good old days in Lexington.

"It's great for us to all be on the floor again together," John Wall said. "It's probably for the last time too unless something happens in the future with some trades or something. So it's cool."

The Kentucky supertrio all went separate ways with Wall staying east with the Wizards, with Cousins and Bledsoe stretching out west to Sacramento and Los Angeles.

It was a historic draft night for the Wildcats, with the three players all going in the first round. Wall was taken first overall, Cousins fifth and Bledsoe 18th.

Their rookie seasons have all been similar, but in different ways. All three are on struggling teams that are working to rebuild. All three have had some serious ups and down. Wall has battled some injuries, Bledsoe is getting used to playing as a backup behind Baron Davis and Cousins, well, he's had his own stuff to deal with.

Cousins has had a few incidents early in the season but caught a lot of attention with a locker room scuffle with teammate Donte Greene. But for the 20 minutes he sat next to Bledsoe and Wall, he looked to be right at home. He actually ignored questions at times because he was too busy messing with Bledsoe. When one photographer wanted a picture of Bledsoe and Cousins together, Cousins grabbed his former Wildcat teammate and pulled him over. Never mind that Bledsoe was in the middle of answering a question.

I talked to Cousins following the Kings loss in Oklahoma City which was his first game back after being ruled inactive because of the locker room incident. Of course the Kings had just lost, but Cousins overall mood was night and day different sitting next to Wall and Bledsoe. Whatever it is, you just can't substitute that camaraderie developed playing for a school. 

The three have been together so far the entire stay in Los Angeles, Bledsoe said. They try and stay in touch as much as possible, but it's been a challenge because, you know, they're busy. Bledsoe said they still communicate with John Calipari some, exchanging texts here and there. But for the most part, the three have been separated by the NBA.

They were prepared for it because when they all joined up for that one season in Kentucky, they had this vision. They knew they'd get one crack at playing together before they all went on to try bigger and better things. But a serious bond was formed for the three as they wound their way through the SEC and made a good run in the NCAA tournament. And to be back again, sitting together answering questions, even if just for a little while, was nice.

"It's a great memory," Bledsoe said. "Everybody's reminiscing. Just coming in and seeing how each other's doing, telling old jokes. It's been pretty fun."

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com